well actually it’s so great I think it should be word of the month or maybe even year…
a friend in Madrid just wrote me the following,
“I’m still in the maremagnum of closing the [business] year
I’ve never heard the word before but I just knew it to be perfect for what Miguel was describing…
here is the translation from a Spanish/English dictionary from Granada University… (I love the baroque Spanish translations):
= welter, maelstrom.
Ex: Without language we would go bumping around in the dark and eventually take leave of our senses under the welter of the incomprehensible, withdrawing, as some people do, into a closed world in order to protect ourselves against the unbearable onslaught.
Ex: Specific types of information are considered imperative to decipher the intricate process of surviving in a modern, mid-nineties maelstrom of socio-economic crises.
when you look at the translation into German, there is a terse
no examples… still, I think the German gives us a good feeling for the word.
As for origin:
magnum from Latin, meaning great
and mare, meaning ocean/sea
some other translations suggest: maelstrom, confusion
and here is the Spanish definition:
(Del lat. mare magnum, mar grande).
1. m. Abundancia, grandeza o confusión.
2. m. Muchedumbre confusa de personas o cosas.
Living near the sea, I’m particularly intrigued with the latin root mare… I don’t really think of the ocean as being particularly confused – turbulent at times – but not confused and certainly not a mishmash.
Now, the challenge is to use maremagnum… any takers?
How about this:
My new project is a maremagnum of ideas and images.
I don’t think this does the word justice….